Budding Directors: Childhood in the Amazon

date 11. January 2018, 19:00
languages de, es
translation de
tickets Free admission, registration required, doors open 6.30pm

How do children in the Amazon experience their world? How do they spend their days, and with whom? And what happens when they decide to show us the answers to these questions themselves, by grabbing a camera and capturing their world on film – as budding directors?

The Humboldt Forum invites you to attend the premiere of several short films made by children from the Ye’kwana indigenous group in Venezuela. In conversation with art education specialist Ute Marxreiter and ethnologist Andrea Scholz, the indigenous filmmaker Kuyujani López Núñez will talk about his work with the children and about the great potential this project offers for the Humboldt Forum.

In a project initiated jointly by the indigenous organisation Kuyujani and staff at the Ethnologisches Museum, children from the Ye’kwana indigenous community were able to capture their own lifeworlds on camera in the Amazon region of southern Venezuela. The name of the project – Budding Directors – denotes its approach, namely, to let the children speak for themselves rather than using an outside perspective. While Venezuela is currently making headlines with its exclusion of opposition parties from the presidential election, indigenous peoples in many regions of the country are busy trying to scrape together a living. The children filmed their own everyday lives, showing who they spend their days with and how they experience their world. In a number of workshops they learned the basics of filmmaking, experimenting with acting and using the camera, and then produced several three-minute films which will now be shown publically for the first time here in Berlin.

The discussion will take place under the auspices of the exhibition Watch Out: Children! Protected. Loved. Threatened..

Please take note that this event will be held in German and partly in Spanish.


Please register (in German) by 10 January 2018 if you wish to attend. Due to limited seating capacity, we can only guarantee you a seat if you pick up your tickets on the day of the event by 6:45 pm. A limited number of tickets will be available at the ticket office from 6:45 pm for those who decide to attend at short notice.


The Humboldt Forum will become a place of encounter and exchange, bringing together many different perspectives and cultures. Cooperating with representatives of individual cultures is a primary condition for this. Exhibits can be researched only in collaboration with people from their societies of origin. And only together with these people can insights be gained into their current lifeworlds. But what does this cooperation look like in practice?

The intensive exchange with the Ye’kwana began in 2014, when staff of the Ethnologisches Museum developed a concept in cooperation with the indigenous university in Venezuela for an online platform which would enable joint research on the objects in the museum. Other indigenous educational institutions and organizations in Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela will now become involved as part of a larger project. At the same time, projects like Budding Directors will intensify cooperation with individual ethnic groups in the region. Further screenings of the children’s films will take place at the Humboldt Forum in the junior areas of the Ethnologisches Museum and via a web platform which is designed to inspire children in other parts of the world to capture and share their experiences of the world in film clips.

Saúl Kuyujani López Nuñez is Ye’kwana and studied at the Universidad Nacional Experimental Indígena del Tauca (UNEIT), focusing on audio-visual media. He has been working in the cooperation project Sharing Knowledge since 2014. As part of his studies at UNEIT Herr López got together with Ye’kwana elders to research the story of Dijaawa Wotunnöi and then adapted it for use in Venezuelan schools. The book that came out of this research provided the basis for the film Dijaawa Wotunnöi – cuento ancestral de Dijaawa, which can be viewed in the exhibition Watch Out: Children!

Ute Marxreiter studied theatre, history of art and English literature. She has been working in art and culture education since 2002 and in 2014 became research assistant for art education at the Ethnologisches Museum and the Museum für Asiatische Kunst Berlin. She is currently developing the junior areas and the family trail for the future Humboldt Forum.

Andrea Scholz is an ethnologist and has worked at the Ethnologisches Museum Berlin since 2012. After completing an internship she joined the staff of the Humboldt Lab Dahlem. Since 2016, she has led the research project Sharing Knowledge, cooperating with various indigenous educational institutions and organizations in Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela.

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